The Legacy of a princess

Kamehameha Schools was founded by the will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the great-granddaughter of Kamehameha the Great.

Pauahi Legacy
HomeI MUA Newsroom Waʻa Wednesday: Nearing Rapa Nui

Hōkūleʻa crewmember Lehua Kamalu provides an update as the waʻa departs the Galapagos Islands, heading for Rapa Nui.

Waʻa Wednesday: Nearing Rapa Nui

The perpetuation of Polynesian wayfinding continues to be a source of pride for students, the organization and the entire Hawaiian community, adding strength to a collective sense of Native Hawaiian identity. Kamehameha Schools is proud to be the education sponsor of the Hōkūleʻa Worldwide Voyage.

On Feb. 10, the crew of the Hōkūleʻa set sail for Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, continuing the Worldwide Voyage's Mālama Honua global movement to care for our earth and marking Hōkūleʻa's return to the navigational ocean currents that will lead her home.

The waʻa set sail from the Galapagos Island after spending time learning more about the islands' fragile ecosystem and discussing best practices for how to conserve the earth's most critical resources.

"Heading to Rapa Nui, Hōkūleʻa carries the invaluable lessons of global sustainability that were learned and shared at other UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Galapagos Islands," said Nainoa Thompson, president of Polynesian Voyaging Society.

"In addition to being a recognized global resource by organizations such as UNESCO, Rapa Nui signifies a major cultural return for Polynesian navigation and our Worldwide Voyage as we re-enter the Polynesian triangle, the birthplace of our wayfinding heritage."

Hōkūleʻa is expected to port in Rapa Nui around Feb. 28, weather permitting. The crew will stay on the island for approximately a week before sailing on to French Polynesia. The crew will again be joined by a contingency of teachers and students from Hawaiʻi, including one from Kamehameha Schools. The last time Hōkūleʻa visited Rapa Nui was on a voyage that took place in 1999.

An island just a little larger than Kahoʻolawe (Kanaloa), Rapa Nui is host to famed archaeological sites including nearly 900 monumental statues called moai. It is a remote volcanic island located in Polynesia under Chilean territory. Rapa Nui represents an opportunity for the crew to learn more about the island's status as a World Heritage Site as well as the rich cultural history of its Polynesian ancestors.

This leg of the voyage has offered a nice moment for reflection. In his crew blog, KSK alum and crew member Naʻalehu Anthony takes time to think about all the learning that has taken place throughout this voyage and throughout the decades Hōkūleʻa has been voyaging. See his and many other updates on the blog at A lesson on navigation basics is a part of the updates.

Hōkūleʻa is on the final stretch of her journey before returning home on June 17, with a special homecoming event hosted at Magic Island. Sign-ups for homecoming festivities details are being taken now on

Kamehameha Schools is proud to be the Education Sponsor of the Hōkūleʻa Worldwide Voyage. For more information about the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Worldwide Voyage, visit or find the society on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google+. To see more Wa‘a Wednesday stories and much more about the Mālama Honua Voyage, go to the KS Online Mālama Honua page(if you are on a KS Network) or see related articles below.

Related Articles

February 01, 2017

Waʻa Wednesday: Hōkūleʻa arrives in the Galapagos

Hawaiʻi teachers, students and conservation partners join the Hōkūleʻa Worldwide Voyage crew for a learning journey to the UNESCO World Heritage Marine Site.

January 18, 2017

Waʻa Wednesday – Back in the Pacific

After completing the historic two-day transit across the Panama Canal, Hōkūleʻa is back in Pacific waters for the first time in two years. While in Panama, crewmembers continue outreach efforts with indigenous communities.

January 03, 2017

Waʻa Wednesday: Preparing for a historic canal crossing

Hōkūleʻa reached Panama this week, preparing for a historic crossing which will bring the waʻa into the Pacific Ocean for the first time in two years.

Tags: hokulea, malama honua voyage, worldwide voyage

Categories: Themes, Culture, KS Organization, Newsroom, Department News, Ho‘okahua, Mālama Honua